Ahem? Is this thing on?

February 16th, 2012

Sooo…hows the last six years been? Good? Yeah, that’s good. Me too.

Let’s kick the tires, spray some starter fluid in the carb and see if this thing starts.

Hopefully it’ll drive, too.

Drink To Success

October 4th, 2006

Science says I should be a much wealthier man.


October 3rd, 2006

I felt a great disturbance in the force.

Federal investigators were set Tuesday to begin an investigation into a fire that ruined about 4 percent of America’s yield of hops, used as flavoring in the brewing of beer and ale.

And the homebrew shop will raise their hop prices in 3, 2, ….

Better Drinking Through Chemistry

September 26th, 2006

If the coffee didn’t work to prevent liver disease there’s hope:

A cheap and readily available drug could reverse severe liver disease, even in patients who find it impossible to give up booze, research suggests.

Sulphasalazine is currently used to treat arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

But a University of Newcastle team has found that it can also reverse the scarring associated with cirrhosis of the liver.

Cool. I wonder if you could just add it to beer.

Sweep The Leg Johnny!

July 12th, 2006

He’s back! And ready to sweep the leg, even at risk of disqualification.

Still need a good Chop-Socky font for sidebar graphics. And there’s probably things I missed, but I’ll live.

Annoying The Wife: Geektitude

July 12th, 2006

Bruce Campbell’s going to be there because Brisco County’s coming out on DVD.

Sweet! This is the best year ever! We bought a house, The Tick and Brisco County are on DVD. Awesome!

So are you saying that getting married and going to Ireland were just filler?

No. I’m just not sure it compares to the Tick on DVD….

*SIGH* I’m too tired to hit you…

100 Tastes Of Excellence

May 25th, 2006

Zombyboy David_J is doing a Thing where he’ll be presenting a song in a vain attempt to stave off the stigma of “American Idol Blogger”.

It’s an excellent idea, So I’ll play along at home. I’ll post an MP3 of a song and why it’s currently one of my ’100′.

The mp3 will be available for a week or so, unless I forget to delete them.

Let’s be clear. These are going to be songs I like, and driven mostly by “what’s Matt listening to righ now”. My music library is… far ranging. You’re likely to see Louis Jordan as much as The Hellacpoters. I’m going where the music takes me at the moment.


May 17th, 2006

Dave is continuing his unmanly and disturbing fascination with American Idol. And he seems to have infected Andy as well.

Maybe it’s something in the water in Colorado.

Now, tempting though it is, I’m not going to make fun of two ostensibly mature adults blogging about a show that seems aimed squarely at the 13 year-old girl market. No, I’m more magnanimous than that. I come not to mock, but educate.

You see, Andy says the following in all apparent seriousness

Taylor – doing “Try a Little Tenderness.” I just don’t think anyone will ever top the version from the movie “The Commitments.”


Now, granted, Andy may have been distracted by the boobies of the atmittedly fetching Katharine McPhee, but no one will ever top The Commitments version? Unless you have some serious Soul chops you shouldn’t get anywhere near Otis Reddings catalog, and I have no idea if this “Taylor” organisim* does or not. I’ve never heard him sing and will probably die a happy man.

But to appear to claim The Commitments version is somehow definitave?

No, ’tis but a shadow of the true Amber.

Otis! Monterey, June 17, 1967. Five minutes fifteen seconds of raw power. He blew Hendrix off the stage.

That’s what ya need to top.

Good luck with that.

*I hesitate to use the term “person” to describe someone who resembles George Clooney to that degree.

<Insert Snappy Headline Here>

December 27th, 2005

You know what I just realized? I can’t write unless I can come uo with a snappy title or first sentence for the piece. I can have an entire outline, know exactly where I want to go with it, etc. But I can’t get started until I’ve got that phrase or sentence that ties it all together for me. This is why I’m a terrible blogger, I just can’t write until I distill what I’m trying to talk about into one sentence.

I need that anchor to get going.

Never mind, just random musing.

Meme Rises From Dead, Assumes New Name, Attacks Remote Mounain Hamlet

December 9th, 2005

This is all Zombyboy David J’s fault:

Seven things to do before I die

  1. Learn to fly.
  2. Live in Ireland for at least a year.
  3. Start my own software company.
  4. Restore a 1957 Ford Fairlane from the frame up. (Or a ’63 Galaxie. I’m not picky.)
  5. Learn piano
  6. Make a bass guitar by hand.
  7. Get my back belt in Kenpo.

Seven Things I Cannot Do

  1. Play piano.
  2. Weld.
  3. Speak a foreign language.
  4. Dance. Not at all.
  5. Skate. Not roller. Not ice. (Can’t skateboard anymore either, even though it was a major component of my misspent youth)
  6. Drink gin.
  7. Navigate in open water. (Not that I need to, but I can’t do it)

Seven things that attract me to… (foreign and domestic bodies)

  1. Eyes
  2. Butts.
  3. Boobs.
  4. A good sense of humor.
  5. That spot right there where the shoulder meets the neck? Yeah, that.
  6. Legs.
  7. Smile.

Seven things I say most often

  1. Fuck!
  2. Oh, son of a…
  3. Oh, fuck me harder. (I’m a sysadmin, I cuss a lot)
  4. Wait, what’s this now?
  5. Right, that‘ll work.
  6. What the fuck?.
  7. Groovy, Marsha.

Seven books (or series) that I love

  1. The Lord of the Rings
  2. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
  3. The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (All five books in the trilogy)
  4. Starship Troopers, any of RAH’s early stuff. The rest gets patchier.
  5. Inside Macintosh. An absolute marvel of technical documentation. I learned more about programming from IM than any other source.
  6. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. All the Narnia books are great, but Lion just has that special bit of magic.
  7. Roger Zelazny’s Amber books

Seven movies I watch over and over again

  1. The Blues Brothers
  2. Tombstone
  3. Buckaroo Banzai
  4. The Evil dead trilogy.
  5. A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
  6. Patton (“Rommel you magnifuicent bastard! I read your book!”)
  7. TIE: Blazing Saddles and Holy Grail

When Monkey Heads Attack

November 22nd, 2005

You know, if I ever sat down and catalogued the things that scare me to an unreasonable degree, like clowns, heights and the phrase “Carter Presidency”, I’d never have thought of animatronic monkey heads.

Until now. This may be the creepiest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. Seriously, watch the video clip they’ve got and tell me you’ll sleep soundly tonight.

So real, it’s unreal! “Alive” Chimpanzee (Latin name: pan troglodyte…if you can believe it) is a fully animated, life-size bust of the real animal; he has been painstakingly handcrafted to exacting standards. His appearance is uncannily lifelike — with skin and hair and eyes that look and feel genuine. His head and neck — as well as his face and eyes — move as if “Alive” Chimpanzee were a living thing.

Watch the video. That’s not how real chimps move unless they’re rabid or driven insane by rage. And it can be yours for only $150!

# Soulful eyes track movements using infrared “radar” vision; his ears have stereoscopic sound sensors; his skin reacts to contact with touch sensors all around.
# Four distinctive emotional moods include “Curious,” “Happy,” “Fearful” and “Feisty.”

Along with it’s two other emotional modes “Kill whole family while sleeping and feast on the yummy flesh” and “Find Sarah Connor”. Still only $150! Buy one for the kiddies! Imagine their wails of glee as they run screaming from the room in joy at having recieved an Evil Carnivorous Monkey Head as a gift! Imageine the years of Therapy!

Yeesh. If anyone needs me I’ll be barricaded in a closet with a shotgun and a bottle of brown likker.

UPDATE (11/29):
SEE! See what happens when this kind of thing is encouraged? Nazi Monkeys!

Ugly By Design

November 21st, 2005

Dear PC case manufacturers,

Is it really too much to ask that you build a case in the $50-$100 range that isn’t either plain, boring beige with inadequate cooling or just plain butt-assed ugly? Seriously, people actually buy these godawfull cases with side windows and blue neon and whatnot? because to me they look like someone tried to jazz up a ’74 pinto. Just put a row of pom-poms around the side window and have done with it, already.

Or make a decent looking, affordable case.



November 21st, 2005

Be the zombie

Sometimes a game comes along that’s just the thing. Timely, satisfying, bloody.

And occasionally you get to eat brains.

Now, most Zombie games you play the human, intent on stopping the Zombie threat. Certainly a noble cause, but, really it’s gotten kind of boring. Yeah, yeah, everyone want’s to be the hero, save the world, yadda yadda. But we’ve done that before.

Much more satisfying to be the Zombie.

which takes us to Punchbowl, Pennsylvania, 1959.

Punchbowl is a gleaming City Of The Future. Complete with flying cars and robots. A wholesome place.

And now a place with an unwanted visitor.

See, back in ’33 Edward “Stubbs” Stubblefield was murdered and buried in an unmarked grave. Then the city of Punchbowl was built on top of him. 26 years later, during Punchbowl’s opening day festivities, Stubbs decides he wants a snack.

And that’s where we come in. As Stubbs, you get to eat brains, possess people stun them with your Unholy Flatulence and kill the with your exploding head and gut bombs and build up an army of your undead minions. And it is good, bloody fun.

Stubbs is built on the Halo engine (Alex Seropian, the executive producer, was one of the founders of Bungie) so the controls are somewhat familiar. Punchbowl is very stylishly done, very retro-modern. The dialogue gets a bit repetitive, as there’s only so many ways for someone to scream “it’s eating my brain” but I’m probably 1/3 of the way through the game and I still cackle with glee every time I eat someone’s brain. And the soundtrack is, simply, awesome. Featuring covers of 50′s songs done by current bands like Death Cab For Cutie, The Dandy Warhols, and The Flaming Lips. It’s not used enough during the game, except in the “boss fight” against Punchbowl’s chief of police, which may be the weirdest boss fight I’ve come across in a video game.

All in all a very stylish, bloody and fun game. Two green, decaying thumbs up.

Pop Psychology Quiz

October 28th, 2005

Let’s just, as a hypothetical, say that you’re an employee at a State mental institution. In your care you have a “possibly violent” paranoid who’s been off his meds for two weeks.

Do you think it’s a good idea to give this guy a machete so he can do yard work?


Somebody does.

TypePad FallDown GoBoom

October 27th, 2005

TypePad’s been having a little trouble with their datacenter move.

No big deal, it happens almost any time you move network equipment around.

I did like Slashdot comment though:

At least myspace and livejournal aren’t down, I’d hate to see the damage the roving bands of displaced angstbombs and emo kids could inflict upon the internet.

Pardon Our Dust

October 27th, 2005

Just upgrading to WordPress 1.5.2

Well. That seems to have worked. I’m using a new comment spam killer thingy, so things might be screwy. We’ll see.

Count Dante will be back. I just need to find the time to turn him into an actual WordPress theme.


September 27th, 2005

Five word review:
Damn. That was just… Damn.

Longer review:
Whedon definately pulled off the transition from TV series to movie. One of the things I was worried about was the fact that a lot of the reason Firefly worked so well was the character development, which you’ve got plenty of time to do over the course of a TV season. But a two-hour movie? Not so much.

Whedon pulls it off with aplomb, though. There’s enough exposition so that people who haven’t obsessively watched the DVDs aren’t lost, but not so much that fans are bored by retelling the story. And man, what a story. The movie is basically a two-hour episode of the show, only about four times as intense. Intense enough that at times it feels a little brutal in a kind of “stop beating my brain!” kind of way. But it works. Really, really well.

I was also worried that with a big movie budget that they’d go overboard on the special effects to the detriment of the story. They didn’t The effects are damn good and used to good effect, but they don’t dominate the movie the way they have some recent sci-fi movies. (*cough*Revenge of the Sith*cough*) The effects are basically the same as the series (I’m pretty sure the same company did them), but more lavish and bigger. The planet-side scenes are impressive, The space scenes are just about perfect, with none of that “I’m watching a video game” feel that CGI effects often has.

Overall, it’s a great movie and one I’ll probably go see again. And I’ll definately buy the DVD when it comes out.

Spoilerific plot synopsys later when I get a bit more time. Let’s just say some people die, Mal’s a magnificent bastard, and River kicks ass. Seriously, her kung-fu is strong. And the movie pretty much ties up the “River is bat-shit insane” storyline. But it does leave it’s options open for a sequel. Or a new series.

September 26th, 2005

Hopefully The Wife and I will be seeing Serenity tonight. I’m really interested to see how Whedon treats the Firefly universe as a movie, and where the whole River thing goes.

I’m inclined to like this movie, just because Firefly was pretty much the best sci-fi on TV in years, and one of the better shows in general. So, of course Fox screwed it up.

Anyway, review tomorrow assuming we get in.

Oh, and here’s the remarkably bland marketingspeak synopsys that the marketing company insists I include:

Joss Whedon, the Oscar® – and Emmy – nominated writer/director
responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE
VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion
and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the
future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film
centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the
losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living
pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship,
Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing
he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

Wow. I’m all aflutter. That’s powerful writing.

Identified Flying Object

September 23rd, 2005

Ah. So that’s what it was.

We were sitting on the patio at the bar last night when I looked up and saw this:

Cool. A rocket! Though it looked too close to be a launch from Vandenberg, it was:

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE – A rocket carrying a military research satellite blasted off Thursday, dazzling spectators from California to Arizona with a rainbow of colors as it streaked across the sky at dusk.
The Minotaur rocket carrying a DARPA payload launched into orbit at 7:24 p.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base, said Maj. Todd Fleming.

DARPA is the research and development arm of the Pentagon. The 920-pound “Streak” payload will stay in orbit for a year, gathering information about the Earth’s environment in low orbit. The mission’s cost is classified.

Those of you inclined to conspiracy theories may now don your tinfoil helmets and hide from the black helicopters. Everybody else just enjoy the pretty pictures

War Porn – .50 BMG

September 14th, 2005

Not for the kiddies or those with delicate sensibilities. A sniper in Afghanistan taking out taliban fighters.

Let’s just say the .50 BMG packs a hell of a wallop.

click for war porn